Helsinki, Finland’s RunToShop Ltd. is a company changing the way consumers purchase online. Buying is about trust. Is what you’re selling me really as good as you say it is? Obviously a shopper would trust an expert or friend more than a product page or sales person. Based on the concept of trust to enhance online shopping, RunToShop is an online tool that integrates with any e-commerce store and lets customers recommend, compare and ask questions about different products through social networks. This active sharing is designed to enhance trust and increasing online sales.
So here’s how it works: companies can purchase the RunToShop widget and integrate it into their e-commerce store. When customers are looking at a particular product in the store, they can easily pull up information about what other customers are saying about the product including reviews or recommendations. If they want to leave a review or recommendation, the customer can quickly log in through a social network like Facebook. The added benefit of using social networks in conjunction with this tool is that a) it’s easy to leave a review because you probably already have a Facebook or other social network account and b) a customer’s product recommendation will be pushed out through those channels, giving the product free publicity.
RunToShop has a website that lets users search for various products and reviews, which is currently only in Finnish but will soon be in English too. Besides just searching for reviews, the website acts as it’s own social network that lets users create profiles that highlight their favorite products. Users become “experts” in a particular genre, increasing trust and brand awareness. RunToShop hopes that by using the familiarity and trust that comes from social networking will enhance a buyer’s experience and ultimately lead to more sales. Also with a Facebook app, RunToShop is using social networking to change the way people shop, search for, and buy products.